Congratulations to Cynthia Muñoz for being named “Woman of the Year” by the San Antonio Business Journal! “I am very honored and grateful to receive this distinction,” said Cynthia in a recent phone conversation. “This award represents the entire mariachi community and everyone who has supported the growth and expansion of mariachi music throughout the past two decades.”
Cynthia is a constant promoter of mariachi music and musicians. Pictured above are her and students from Fox Tech High School’s mariachi in San Antonio during a television interview at a local TV station, in conjunction with the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
The award was presented on August 20 at the Oak Hills Country Club before an audience of distinguished business owners and leaders from the San Antonio area. Of the 16 women honored by the San Antonio Business Journal for their outstanding leadership skills and community service, Cynthia received the highest distinction: 2015 Woman of the Year.
With Carlos Martínez, musical director of Mariachi Vargas
de Tecalitlán, at last year’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza
As president of Muñoz Public Relations (MPR), Cynthia has produced numerous concerts and special events over the past 24 years. She got her start in marketing and advertising as a public relations account executive for Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates shortly after graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio, in 1988. Prior to that, she grew up playing mariachi music through the church and schools and was a participant of the very first mariachi music festival in the U.S. back in 1979.
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Pictured in the San Antonio Business Journal article above is a photo of Cynthia standing in front of a painting by Lionel Sosa. “This painting is very special to me, as it was created by my former employer, who founded the largest Hispanic market advertising agency in the country at the time that I worked for him,” says Cynthia. “Lionel believed in portraying Latinos in a positive light, and he accomplished this through the advertising he created for top clients such as Coca-Cola, American Airlines and Anheuser-Busch. This is a motto I’ve carried with me throughout my nearly 25 years in business. I believe in presenting the very best of our culture in every event I organize.”
Cynthia as a young mariachera
Most people know Cynthia Muñoz as a dynamic entrepreneur and champion of Hispanic culture, but what many never imagine is that she has mariachi origins, having played this music in church and school since childhood. I first met Cynthia 35 years ago, in 1979, at the very first International Mariachi Conference in San Antonio. A sophomore who hadn’t yet celebrated her quince años, she was playing in a high school mariachi at the time. Even at that early age, she was uncommonly charismatic and made a lasting impression on me. On my yearly pilgrimages to San Antonio to attend that city’s mariachi festival (the only event of its type in the world back then), young Cynthia was one of the people I always looked forward to greeting.
With Víctor Cárdenas and Mario Santiago,
at the 1980 San Antonio mariachi festival
After the original San Antonio festival went on hiatus in the late 1980s, I lost track of Cynthia for several years. We didn’t reconnect until 1995, when I learned she had revived San Antonio’s mariachi festival tradition and founded the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Since then, she has invited me to collaborate with her on many occasions. When I found out she had won the San Antonio Business Journal’s “Woman of the Year” award, I was thrilled to write a blog about it!
Read more about Cynthia Muñoz at the links below: